SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife has issued a warning for drivers in the high country as “fall back” occurs this weekend. They say the chance of crashing into wildlife usually increases this time of year.
With daylight saving time ending this weekend, more cars will be on the road at the exact time most animals are on the move — in the evenings around dusk.
“(We’re)” moving into that time of year when that all that seems to be coming together,” Elissa Knox with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.
It’s a bad mix for Colorado’s wildlife and drivers.
“With the days is getting shorter and then daylight savings then on top of that … the movement times for the wildlife is starting to overlap with a lot of rush hour,” Knox said.
Statewide, thousands of animals are hit and killed every year — from deer to bears and even moose.
The changing season coincides with mating season for many species, and they are on the move.
“A lot of wildlife species — they move quite a bit at dawn and dusk and throughout the night,” Knox said.
Along a stretch of Highway 9 north of Silverthorne animal and car collisions are almost non-existent now because of a major project building the state’s first animal overpasses and miles of fencing keeping the cars and animals separate. But duplicating it on highways elsewhere would cost millions.
“The problem is those projects are really expensive and they require a lot of support and a lot of collaboration,” Knox said.
Until funding for more fencing and animal bridges can be found, drivers need to slow down and pay extra attention as Parks and Wildlife officials look for other ways to keep those types of wrecks from happening.
“You’re always looking for opportunities to do more of those if we find the partners.”